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King Lear can be looked at in many ways ’ as an Aristotelian tragedy, a family


drama, a psychological drama, a Freudian interpretation as a comedy of the


grotesque and a feminist interpretation as a patriarchal play.


Tyranny and rejection between parents and children can lead to extreme cruelty,


Custom Essays on King Lear-Psychoanalytical View

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suffering and madness.


In the 0th century Lear has been re-evaluated ’ where it was once see as


unactable, it is now regarded as a relevant, popular and effectible play. The


movement away from a strictly Christian or nihilistic interpretation is towards a


version which celebrates the play‘s complexity and its courage in attempting to


reflect the mysteries and ambiguities of both life and humanity.


Freud‘s interpretation saw Cordelia‘s silence as representing death and Lear‘s


rejection of her silence as his unwillingness to face death.


There is great controversy over whether Lear is pessimistic or optimistic.


Feminist reading of King Lear feminist scholars have challenged precious notions


and assumptions about man‘s destiny‘ in a tragic universe. In 181, Marianne


Novy called for radical reappraisal of the plays, claiming that feminist critics had


responded to Shakespeare with the loyalty that a dutiful daughter might have


for a parent‘. Feminist critics have not responded to the Shakespeare


establishment as Cordelia does to Lear‘s demand for her filial devotion. Instead


of saying nothing they have criticised the question, challenged Lear‘s position as


patriarch, reconsidered the position of women in Renaissance society. A


misogynistic representation of women in King Lear can be seen. The female


characters in the play are either demonic or saintly. Goneril and Regan are


portrayed a despicable, demonic women while Cordelia is a virtuous, angelic


daughter. King Lear is a play about the perpetuation of patriarchal power and


sexual inequality.


Kathleen Mckuskie ’ King Lear dramatises a connection between sexual


insubordination and political anarchy. The order of the state is seen to depend


upon careful regulation of sexual and family relationships. When Lear rages


against the collapse of order, it is women‘s lust that is blamed as the cause of


chaos and corruption. Cordelia‘s enduring love is not a virtue that redeems


nature‘ but a response that restores patriarchal authority. Resistance to


emotional power of the play to compel us to sympathise with Lear, and urges us


to exchange the pleasure of identification for the pleasure of critical insight and


understanding. Her aim is to interrogate, rather than accept, the views of gender


and sexuality that inform King Lear.


Coppelia Kahan ’ psychoanalytical reading of the play. The absent mother‘


allows one to see King Lear as a tragedy of masculinity. Lear‘s progress is not


towards spiritual redemption but towards a recognition and acceptance of the


woman in himself‘. The tragic power if the play issues from its awareness of the


terrible human price paid by a society that represses female instincts and


feelings. Regan and Goneril betray and disappoint Lear by not being mothers to


him‘, their behaviour issues from their masculine instincts‘.


Lear as a religious play


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